Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Spain Busts Hackers for Infecting 13 Million PCs

A Reuters newswire article, via Threat Level, reports:

Spanish police have shut down a ring of computer hackers who infected more than 13 million PCs with a virus that stole credit card numbers and other valuable data in what may be the biggest cyber-raid to date.

Spain’s Civil Guard said on Tuesday that it arrested three men suspected of running the so-called Mariposa botnet, named after the Spanish word for butterfly. A press conference to give more details is scheduled for Wednesday.

Mariposa had infected machines in 190 countries in more than half of the world’s 1,000 largest companies and in at least 40 big financial institutions, according to two Internet security firms that helped Spanish officials crack the ring, Canada’s Defense Intelligence and Spain’s Panda Security.

“It was so nasty, we thought ‘We have to turn this off. We have to cut off the head,’” said Chris Davis, CEO of Defense Intelligence, which discovered the virus last year. He added that the ring was shut down on December 23.

More here.


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